The Biggest Losers

On October 1, 2012, in Apps, Features, iOS, Opinion, by Guy Serle

 

With not much else to report on, tech blogs seem focused on two things concerning the iPhone 5/ iOS 6 launch. The first is that the iPhone was SUCH a disappointing launch with ONLY 5 million units sold the first weekend. ONLY 5 million sold. The only constraint wasn’t a lack of customers, but a lack of hardware. Apple probably could have sold another 5 million that first weekend if they had them, but they didn’t. So for analysts to claim that they should have sold 7-8 million is nonsense and apparently that’s the basis for their disappointment?

1. Should Apple have had more phones ready for launch day?

2. Is part of what makes Apple, Apple, the lines of people waiting for product A when launched? In other words, self-induced marketing by the very people who have a tendency to buy Apple products?

In contrast let’s compare this to the numbers sold by Samsung for the Galaxy SII as reported by Samsung for the Patent trial concluded recently. According to the documents as provided by Samsung, they sold a total of about 4.2 million phones of this particular model from Quarter 3 of 2010 to the end of Quarter 3 2012. In the same time period, Apple sold over 56 million iPhones.

Of course it might not seem fair to compare just one model (though sold under different names depending on the carrier) to the iPhone which encompassed 3 distinct models of their own in the same time period. Namely the 3GS, the 4, and the 4s. So let’s include them all. According to the documents as provided by Samsung, they sold 21.25 million phones of all models in that time period while Apple sold practically 3 times that many. It’s odd that I don’t hear analysts calling Samsung’s numbers “disappointing”.

1. Are analysts being disingenuous in their reporting of Apple a result of ego or of a need by the companies they work with for attention?

2. Could part of this be an attempt to manipulate stock prices with Apple currently being the most valuable company according to share prices?

Now compared to every single model from every single company that produces Android-based phones, yes Apple didn’t sell as many. But this is going back to the argument that Apple has to be compared to everyone else en mass when discussing nearly any product that Apple competes in which is wrong. Apple sells a product. Various other companies sell similar products. Compare them to each other individually before proclaiming failure or success. Analysts SHOULD know better and probably do. But their success and failure rates for predicting aren’t compared over time as much as how much publicity they manage to garner for the company they work for. Most people who casually read tech blogs don’t remember and that’s what analysts count on. Remember the name, forget the outcome is the standard they seem to live by.

1. Does anyone keep track of these analysts predictions and how right or wrong they are?

Now the second thing that seems important this week are maps. In particular the iOS 6 Map App which is standard now over the Google Map App which used to be there. Is it as good as the app it replaced? I guess that depends on what you used the Google Maps App for in iOS 5 or previous. I’ve tried to use it as a GPS application and it was an utter failure. It didn’t keep up with the cars progress as I drove from one area to another, but required me to scroll. It didn’t give me turn by turn directions with voice. In fact it didn’t do anything well as compared to a real GPS app which is what most people probably would have used it for. Instead the one thing it did well was give people information on using public transportation. The Apple Maps App does not do this admittingly and if that’s ALL you want from an App like this you should probably not buy an iPhone 5 or update to iOS 6. OR you could find Public Transportation apps for your city in the iOS store most of which are free.

1. How does using the iOS 6 Maps app compare to using Google Maps for you?

2. Should Google come out with a new iOS Maps App for the iOS App Store?

What most people don’t know or realize is that the same App Google has for Android does all the things that a GPS navigation app should do and has practically since the beginning but they have never updated the app in iOS to do the same. Even when asked to by Apple. Apple understood they were holding this back as an incentive to use Android instead and frankly they were perfectly right in doing so. It is a powerful tool and when there is no free equivalent in iOS it’s a bit of marketing to be used against it. However Google needs to understand that Apple wasn’t going to just sit around and stew. They went out and bought the pieces they needed to come with their own maps app. I think it caught Google by surprise to find out that it wasn’t going to be a companion app, but a replacement. And I think it was also a surprise for them to find out that Apple was going to remove the YouTube app as well.

1. Should Apple have removed both major Google related apps from iOS?

2. Who is the bigger loser in all this Apple or Google?

My immediate thought in this is that Apple’s iOS users are the big losers, but on reflection I think Google also comes out on the bad end. Apple’s Tim Cook looks good by apologizing for how supposedly bad the Maps app is and promising it will get better, while Google misses out on all that yummy data they need to justify their rates to advertisers which is where they make their money. They can’t ignore the iOS market. It’s too big and too vital to what Google as a company is. Apple on the other hand can very much ignore Google’s apps where and when they want to.

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